25 Feb 2019
Job interviews can be overwhelming, but thankfully, there are many steps one can take to prepare efficiently. Job interviews typically consist of the same standard set of questions, followed with a few personalised, quirky remarks – so for the most part, one could predict what’s to come. Here are some of the most commonly-asked questions at job interviews, and how you can answer them:
- What can you tell me about yourself?
This question is an interviewer’s typical opening line aimed at getting to know you better. Knowing how to answer this well is crucial, as it allows you to paint a clear picture of your professional experience and relevant interests, as well as anything that could prove you are right for the role. Avoid reciting your CV – this is an opportunity to explain the aspects you would not normally write about on your documents. You could start by saying, for example: “I am a Content Manager and marketing enthusiast with 5 years of experience in content management and creation across various social media platforms, such as…”
- Why do you want this position?
Recruiters look for people who can prove their passion and willingness to learn, so preparing for this question is a must. You should start by asking yourself what it is that drew you to applying for this role and why would it would be ideal for you. For instance, you could say: “My passion for working in customer support stems from my liking for human interaction and helping others solve their problems – and I admire what you have done in this company, so I would love to be a part of it.”
- What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
Answering this question can be tricky. It might seem easy to do, however, your answer should be tailored to fit the company’s requirements – so do not just focus on what your best qualities are. Backing up your strengths with examples of when they were put to good use is also beneficial. On the other hand, the mention of weaknesses should be treated with caution. You cannot mention too many or none at all, as the wrong impression can easily be conveyed. Mention a weakness that is not a trait required for the job, while explaining how you are improving upon it. An example would be: “I am a very creative person, and in fact, I came up with the magazine title and design at my current company. I believe my greatest weakness is perfectionism, however I have worked on this by allowing myself a certain time limit to work on the projects at hand, as opposed to constantly revising my work.”
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
Ambitious people are always highly-sought after, so when answering this question, ensure you have goals prepared. Mention a role which can likely be worked towards in the company you are applying for, for example: “In five years’ time, I aim to be working as an editor. By that point in time, I believe I will have built up enough experience to lead a team.”